Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Flight Plan for Helicopter Parents - Timelines

In our first post on this topic, we talked about how students need a "low ground cover" helicopter parents.

Helicopter parenting gets a bad rap.

And rightly so when we're talking about "low ground control" parenting.

That's not what we are suggesting here.

Instead, we believe all adolescents need a parent figure to help keep all the balls in the air.

And someone to prevent a mile long car pile up on the highway of your adolescent's brain - the Corpus Collosum.

Here then is where you can start with your student.

Map out timeline(s).

There are three timelines you want to help map out for your student.

Standardized Test.  The goal is for the student to take both tests once, and one of the test a total of three times. Students applying to highly selective schools will want to take 2-3 SAT II Subject Tests in May or June.

College Visits. Map out dates/times during breaks that you can visit schools. Parents should take the lead on coordinating visits. College web sites have information regarding tour times. They also have info regarding state/school admission rep. For the "tourist season", you will want to catch a tour and try to schedule an informal meeting with our rep (email rep to schedule time). For the "buyers season", the colleges often contact you to try and get your student out for a "shopper's preview".

College Application. The key is to nail where the student will apply, when they will apply, and what kind of application they will submit. We encourage our students to apply to "rolling" schools (often public universities) in Sept/Oct, then focus on "Early" applications (whether Early Decision [ED], Early Action [EA], or SCEA [Single Choice Early Action]) in Oct./Nov., and then "ED2"/Regular admissions (2nd Early Decision round - schools like
Vanderbilt, Emory, Davidson offer this).  Most of our students average 4-5 applications.  We preach the old adage:  "Eight is enough."  Some students apply to fewer than 4.  Other students apply to more than 8.  Ultimately that decision is up to the student and family.

Admission Terms:

Rolling: non-binding; public institutions; apply July-May; quick turnaround with results.
ED 1: Early Decision; binding; public/private schools; usually Nov. 1 deadline; mid-Dec. results.
ED 2: Early Decision; binding; usually a Jan. deadline; mid-March result.
SCEA: Single Choice Early Action; non-binding; May 1 to decide; apply to only one school (public universities are excluded); Nov. 1/15 deadline; "bear trap" watch out! ("hook" students only).
EA 1: Early Action; non-binding; May 1 to decide; usually a Nov. deadline.
EA 2:  Early Action;  non-binding;   May 1 to decide;  usually a December-January deadline.
Regular: non-binding; May 1 to decide; usually a Dec-Jan deadline.